MINNEAPOLIS — At last!
With St. Norbert finally losing a hockey game — before falling to new-No 2. University of Wisconsin-Superior, 4-3, the Green Knights last defeat came on November 3, 2007 — there is a new top team in the country.
The Plattsburgh Cardinals, proverbial also-rans for this entire season and much of last, have taken over the No. 1 ranking in the USCHO.com poll, earning 10 of 20 first place votes after remaining unbeaten (6-0-1) thanks to a spirited comeback (three goals in a little over five minutes in the third period) on the road to tie Potsdam, 4-4.
By virtue of their victory over St. Norbert, a 4-0 conference mark, and a 9-1 overall record, the UW-Superior Yellow Jackets also make a convincing claim as the nations best. Receiving only nine fewer points and three less first place tallies then the Cardinals, Superior jumped five spots to second and is poised to take over the top spot if Plattsburgh falters.
Defending national champion St. Norbert fell to third, but received the remaining three first place votes. After a hard-fought 4-3 win on the road at Hobart, Elmira remained fourth.
Then the shake up continued.
Norwich, previously sixth, moved up a spot after downing Southern Maine and Salem State, 4-2 and 6-3, respectively. Ranked third last week, Oswego fell three spots to sixth after blasting Brockport, 11-3, before falling to rival Geneseo, 4-2.
Playing their first games of the season, Middlebury bested Connecticut College (4-3) and shutout Tufts (9-0) to move up one rung to seventh. And in its road sweep of Marian, Adrian (now 8-1-1 on the season) kept rolling, moving up two spots to eighth.
UW-Stevens Point fell two positions after losing to new-No. 12 UW-Stout, 4-3, and defeating UW-River Falls by two goals.
The University of Eau Claire also lost to Stout (2-0 on Saturday) and beat River Falls (6-1), pushing the Blugolds one spot lower to No. 10.
Hobart, who played fourth ranked Elmira tough before doubling up Curry, 6-3, kept its spot at No. 11 while the increasingly buzzed about UW-Stout, now 7-4 on the year, entered the rankings at No. 12.
After outscoring Concordia (Wisconsin) 13-4 in a weekend sweep, 6-2 Hamline moved up one slot to No. 14.
Like Middlebury, Colby is undefeated after two games. With wins over University of Massachusetts-Boston and then-No. 13 Babson by identical 3-2 scores, the Mules entered the poll at 13.
Rounding out the field is Bowdoin, who defeated Babson and tied UMass-Boston in its first two contests of the year. The Polar Bears were also No. 15 last week.
After losses to Bowdoin and Colby and a home-and-home sweep at the hands of St. Olaf, respectively, Babson and Gustavus Adolphus — ranked No. 12 and No. 13 last week — dropped out of the top 15.